The Lead

New F&M poll: Wolf’s approval plummets; Pa. residents back major voting changes

By: - June 18, 2021 7:41 am

Gov.Tom Wolf speaking with the press. Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf joined state lawmakers and members of the LGBTQIA+ community to reintroduce the Fairness Act. The Fairness Act is bipartisan legislation that extends non-discrimination provisions in state law to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression or identity. (Commonwealth Media Services photo).

Gov. Tom Wolf’s approval ratings have taken a post-pandemic hit among Keystone State voters, with barely four in 10 (39 percent) saying he’s doing an excellent or good job, down from 52 percent in July 2020, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College poll.

That 13-point drop is tied to a pessimism about the future among state residents, with only a third saying they believe the commonwealth is heading in the right direction, which is unchanged since the last Franklin & Marshall poll in March, but down significantly from the 57 percent who believed the state was heading in the right direction in October 2019.

(Source: Franklin & Marshall College)

That pessimism comes despite lessening concerns about the pandemic, and an increase in vaccination rates, the poll showed. Nearly eight in 10 respondents (79 percent) say they’ve had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a dramatic increase from March when 31 percent said they’d had at least one dose

More Democrats (94 percent) and independents (84 percent) than Republicans (61 percent) said they’d gotten the jab, pollsters said.

And as lawmakers take up a suite of controversial reforms to the state’s voting laws, nearly six in 10 voters say they believe Pennsylvania’s voting law need to be updated. That belief is stronger among Republicans (75 percent) than among independents (52 percent) or Democrats (46 percent).

(Source: Franklin & Marshall College)

Overall, a majority of respondents say they favor signature matching for mail-in ballots (81 percent) and photo identification requirements (74 percent), while voters are divided about eliminating no-excuse voting by mail.

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Support for these electoral reforms differs substantially by party, the poll found.

The poll, conducted from June 7 – 13, sampled the opinions of 444 registered voters, including 205 Democrats, 177 Republicans, and 62 independents. It has a margin of error of 6.4 percent

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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